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Curran L.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Curran L. “Jack” Jones

October 4, 1919

November 17, 2013

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Curran L. “Jack” Jones passed away November 17, 2013.  Services were held  10 a.m.  Nov. 20 at Salado Church of Christ with Bill Bunting officiating.  Burial with military honors followed in Salado Cemetery.

Jack Jones was born on October 4, 1919 in Columbia, South Carolina to Curran L. Jones and Marie Munckton Jones.  He entered Clemson University where he participated in the ROTC and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a fighter pilot.  He returned after the war to complete his degree in history.

One of the first to arrive in the Pacific at the beginning of WWII with the 39th Fighter Squadron, Jack flew P-39 Aerocobras and P-38 Lightnings out of Port Morseby in New Guinea where his many victories distinguished him as an American Ace.  He participated in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea and had the unusual opportunity to meet his former foe, the foremost Japanese Ace, Saburo Satai, years later at the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Following the war, he was transferred to Europe and had a command in the Berlin Air Lift.  He retired in Salado to raise thoroughbred horses and, with his wife Grace Jones, launch the Grace Jones dress shop.

Jack initiated the Salado Chamber of Commerce, the Salado Art Fair, the first Republican precinct in Salado, the Holland Chamber of Commerce, and the first Republican precinct in Holland.  He was a founding member of the Bell County Sherriff’s Posse, active member of the Salado Lions Club, and past president of the Heart of Texas Sons of the American Revolution.  He enjoyed tennis, golf, and English riding.

For over 20 years Jack authored Aviation by C.L. “Jack” Jones, a column in the Killeen Daily Herald and other local papers focusing on men and women pilots in Texas.  He also produced a monthly PBS television program, Skies Over Texas, in which he interviewed pilots throughout the state.

His perpetual smile and high energy life style will be sorely missed by his wife of 32 years, Joyce Bateman Jones, his daughter, Marie Catherine Jones, stepson, Aaron Austin Mullen and wife Jennifer, and grandsons Isaiah and Wyatt.

Please direct memorials to the Central Texas Area Museum, PO Box 36, Salado, TX 76571.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at the funeral home.

Arrangements in care of Harper-Talasek Funeral Home.